The Limits of Re-Moving

For the second time in 6 months, I moved. First it was off the kibbutz and into the city; now it was from the city to the same city, down the street to the right. I had to move. So I repacked up all my things, enlisted the army’s aid, and re-moved.

In my process of re-moving, I learned that I can’t lift. It’s always jarring to realize a limit, especially when in your mind you can visualize yourself eating the entire laffa or being able to make it through all of Scarface, an inherently bad and dated movie. It’s frustrating to encounter physical roadblocks that you can’t overcome. I pride myself on my independence, so the discovery that I have to rely on others for something so seemingly simple as lifting was dismaying.

My new apartment is on the last floor up after three or four long flights of stairs. It’s a pain, and I was in pain after reaching my limit. I am now bruised and battered and on my way to being broke with the near doubled rent. My legs are smattered in blue and my biceps ache. Despite my effort, my body could not match what my brain was demanding of it.

A quarter of the way from the old and to the new, I had to stop. I could not carry a bookcase. My teammate who lifted the other side of the shelf didn’t need to pause – she could have made it to my new apartment in one go. It was I who recognized in that moment, as we passed by Israelis who criticized us for not using a cart, that my strength had a limit.

One of the critical onlookers approached us and asked if he could help.

“Yes, please!” I exclaimed.

He called over to the owner of a produce shop and asked to borrow a cart (for crates, not shopping). My bookshelf was eased onto the cart and brought up all the stairs by my friend and this man who could do something I couldn’t.

(Later, another man helped with a wooden dining table – something with which I didn’t even endeavor to assume).

I am healthy and determined and now aware that when interviewing for jobs, I can add lifting to my list of inconsequential weaknesses.

Limits and their acceptance are aspects of adulthood. So is living alone in a big girl apartment with big girl rent and no one to hear the shriek of a roach sighting. I’ll figure it out, but I’ll leave the lifting to someone else.

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